Love of Neighbor

January 26, 2017

Now to Guy [de Fontgalland], love of his neighbor was as instinctive as love of God, as precocious and as unceasing. On his baby outings to the Bois de Boulogne he used to keep pestering his nurse for sous, not to spend on sweets, but on beggars. No matter how verminous and filthy the outcast might be, he would cross the street or run bodily forward to meet him, and invariably accompany his offering with a handshake. This practice was of course ruinous to his white woolen gloves, and one day the nurse, on his return, remarked on their condition. “More’s the pity,” he replied. “You give me the sous, and they’re either mamma’s or yours. I give them a friendly grip, and it’s mine. And see! It’s that that pleases them, because they always smile back at me.”

Some weeks after his First Communion, a happy thought occurred to him, and he at once sought out his Mother. “Mamma,” he said, “you should give that First Communion suit of mine to some poor boy.” There was no refusing such a request, and the suit went the way of the sous.

Box cover of a 1918 Meccano. Guy liked to playing with his Meccano enormously.

The day after Christmas the two brothers were always expected to make a selection of the last year’s toys for the benefit of the poor. Guy used to stagger in loaded up with armfuls of former favorites, and if someone had not intervened to choose for him, he would gladly have sacrificed the lot.

Marc Heurard, brother of Guy

With such propensities he was naturally not infrequently “stony-broke.” Mark, deeply loved his older brother, used then to come to Guy’s aid by buying odds and ends from him. The Mother found Mark one day playing with a well-worn and well-stained old blotter, bearing Guy’s school number, 249.

“Where did you get that?” she asked.

“I bought it from Guy for ten francs,” he replied. “He was bothered about not having any money for poor men on the street, and for his Meccano parts, so I said to him: ‘Right oh! Sell me something.’ So he brought me this old blotter, and I gave him ten francs for it.”


Guy de Fontgalland  by Fr. Lawrence L McReavy, M.A.  Pg. 82, 83.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 561

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